This undated file photo provided by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office shows Jerry Chun Shing Lee.
By Associated Press
November 22, 2019

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — A former CIA officer who pleaded guilty to an espionage conspiracy with China could be facing more than two decades in prison.

Fifty-five-year-old Jerry Chun Shing Lee is scheduled for sentencing Friday in federal court in Alexandria.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage, but prosecutors and defense lawyers disagree about the extent of the crime.

Prosecutors say Chinese intelligence officers gave Lee more than $840,000 and that Lee likely gave them all the information he had from a 13-year career as a CIA case officer. They are seeking a prison term of more than 20 years.

Defense lawyers say the government never proved that the money came from China or that Lee ever carried out any plans to deliver government secrets. They’re asking for a 10-year sentence.

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